The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides financial assistance to growers for on-farm irrigation system improvements that both reduce GHG emissions and save water. It is administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
Year Launched: 2014
Budget for FY 2022-23: $110 million
Grants awarded to date: $123 million (CDFA)
Total projects funded: 1,330
CDFA estimated water savings (annually): 144,000 acre-ft of water annually, enough to fill over 72,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools (CDFA).
CDFA estimated greenhouse gas reductions (annually): 93,000 metric tons of CO2e, or the equivalent of removing 20,000 cars from the road for one year (CDFA).
Status of grant rounds: Nine rounds completed. The most recent round of funding closed on January 18, 2022, with applications requesting over $83 million of the $43 million available.
State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program Demand
Farmer and rancher demand for SWEEP continues to outpace available funding, as demonstrated by the graph below.
State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program History
In 2014, under an emergency drought declaration, Governor Brown authorized a new program called the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Funding for the program has come from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, raised from cap-and-trade allowance revenue, as well as Propositions 1 and 68.
Eligible projects currently include:
- Weather, soil or plant based sensors for irrigation scheduling
- Micro-irrigation or drip systems
- Conversion of a fossil fuel pumps to solar, wind, electric, or natural gas
- Improved energy efficiency (e.g., retrofitting or replacing pumps)
- Low pressure irrigation systems
- Variable frequency drives to reduce energy use and match pump flow to load requirements.
- Reduced pumping (e.g., improved irrigation scheduling)
- Other management practices that save water and reduce GHG emissions (e.g., soil management practices such as cover cropping and compost addition that increase water-holding capacity)
For more information on current grant cycles and application procedures, see the CDFA website.